Billy Dodds reckons Aberdeen’s resolve will be tested more than ever if clubs come in for their key assets in this month’s transfer window.
English Premier League Burnley are the latest club to be linked with defender Scott McKenna, who is valued at around £6 million by the Dons.
Aston Villa, Celtic, Nottingham Forest and Queens Park Rangers have all had bids rejected for Scotland international McKenna, who submitted a transfer request during the summer.
Leading scorer Sam Cosgrove has also attracted interest from south of the border, with Middlesbrough, Leeds United, Derby County and Stoke City linked with the English forward.
Although Celtic and Rangers are way ahead of the chasing pack this season, former Aberdeen attacker Dodds reckons the Pittodrie men, currently fourth, could be risking missing out on European football should they cash in on any bids.
Dodds said: “I don’t think Aberdeen want to even entertain Cosgrove leaving.
“I think McKenna has made his position clear. We saw what happened when he put in the transfer request.
“I know Derek will probably have got into his head and managed to talk him around, but he’s obviously got something in him that he wants to try England, whereas Cosgrove is not quite there.
“Aberdeen fans and Derek won’t want to hear this, but this would be the first time they would be in a position where they can probably sell.
“They are in a position now where they are not putting in a challenge to Celtic anymore, so there is no pressure to keep players for that.
“The new chairman, Dave Cormack, will still be expecting third or fourth place in the league and European football, but that would certainly come into doubt and question if they did have to lose one, maybe even two.”
Dodds insists any interest in the Dons’ players this month will be unwelcome at Pittodrie, adding: “Aberdeen 100% want to do their business in the summer.
“Then they will have plenty time to rebuild, recruit and get a picture of what they want for the full season. They don’t want to be changing the team halfway through.”
Cosgrove has netted 20 goals already this season, which is just one less than his tally for the whole of last season.
Dodds feels interest in the 23-year-old, who is under contract until 2022, is inevitable.
He added: “He has already started to attract attention. He scored more than 20 goals last season and he has sustained it this year.
“Last season you were thinking ‘is he a one-season wonder?’ He scored goals, a lot of them penalties, so there were questions going about your head.
“Then you see him doing it again and scoring all different types of goals. You can see the intelligence growing.
“Clubs will start looking – it’s just the way of the world. He’s a goalscorer and a target man with that physicality, so he’s got attributes not many teams have got.”